Third Brake Light - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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#1 (permalink) Old 08-03-2013, 02:01 PM
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Third Brake Light

Today I was going over the car with the guy who is buying it from me and we figured out an issue. The third brake light doesn't light up when the brake peddle is pressed. I told him that I'll take care of that before he takes it.

So, is this light designed to where just one bulb burns out and the entire thing doesn't light up or is it possibly a bad wire, fuse or brake light switch near the brake peddle specific for the third brake light? I took out one of the bulbs and it wasn't burned out so I'm thinking it's something else.

Thanks again and hope to hear your experience on what this issue could be. The car is a '94 SL500.

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#2 (permalink) Old 08-03-2013, 02:12 PM
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Search posts,the wire breaks at the hinge location,mine did that to common problem.

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#3 (permalink) Old 08-03-2013, 02:26 PM
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Hi. I have a 99 sl. When my third brake light died i was advised on this wonderful forum and i fixed it. Visible in the trunk on the right at the trunk hinge there is little a black gator under which there is the electrical cable for the third light. It is frail and in a precarious location and often breaks. I re-soldered where it was broken. If the cable is broken elsewhere along its path to the light itself you may need to strip the trunk lid lining. Some replace as much of the cable as possible with a length of new cable. I think it's that dual speaker cable or suchlike. I didn't need to go any further as it was broken just under the gator and it has worked since. I hope this helps. Darragh.
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Last edited by darraghodonnell; 08-03-2013 at 04:32 PM.
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#4 (permalink) Old 08-03-2013, 05:40 PM
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#5 (permalink) Old 08-03-2013, 06:19 PM
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Just curios to know how much went into the vehicle inspection before he bought it, or did his heart rule his head
Did you make a profit over your short spell of ownership? I know you did a fair bit of work to it.

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#6 (permalink) Old 08-04-2013, 08:48 AM
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Thanks for the replies. I sure hope that's the problem cause my experience with my other car and the third brake light, I had to change the brake peddle switch and it was a real pain. After washing it today, I'll take a look at the wiring in that specific area.

In regards to the car, I really don't know much about what his reasoning or desire to have it is. In my situation, my friend who is in his 70's mentioned he was selling it. Initially he said for 5k. I happened to know a chick who is in college and looking for a good used car at a decent price. I thought this car fit the description. So I told my friend that if he decides to sell it, let me know and I'd buy it. In reality I was simply reserving it for the chick, she'd just buy it from him. So I talked with her about it and she wanted it if he sells it. A month goes by and she came to me and said she decided she wasn't interested in it any longer because she's got a friend in school who's got a Porsche and big issue with the fact only one passenger can come with. She doesn't want that restriction. Fuel consumption was also an issue with her. College girls love going with many friends so I totally understand why this is an issue with her.

So after she told me that, a few day later, my friend showed up at my house with the car and all of the papers, handed me the keys and said it's mine for 6k, and added he could get more but since I've helped him over the years with stuff around his house, he'll sell it to me instead for less. He also added that he just bought a new Accord to take it's place. His wife popped off all the emblems cause she doesn't want to be seen in a Honda which I thought was funny of her to do. I considered myself obligated so I bought it from him that day and had complete ownership change with the DMV two days later. Now I had three cars, two in the garage and one parked outside. I tried it out for a little over a month and I don't think it's practical. My issue is this Mercedes is in such great shape, I'm treating it like a collector car, like I already do with one of my other ones. I don't want another one like that. I baby it to no end and refuse to drive it like a daily driver. And last weekend a chick and I went to a private party and at the end of the night, one of her girlfriends needed a ride but we couldn't give her one because of the passenger number restriction. So I know that will be an ongoing burden for me if I keep it.

I've put a few hundred into correcting the very few issues with it. I've talked with my friend who I purchased it from about me reselling it myself cause he'll know that I don't have it anymore. I told him that I'll split the profit with him but he said he doesn't care about that because he didn't want the hassles of going though all the work contacting strangers, going on test drives, and taking care of the little bugs like the odometer bulb, hood insulation, brake pads, and now the third brake light issue. So he said He's not worried about that.

And as my Peruvian chick says "that's the story....that's the glory."

Last edited by SunnyDays; 08-04-2013 at 09:07 AM.
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#7 (permalink) Old 08-04-2013, 06:08 PM
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Awesome!!! The wire in that specific area was the problem. Fixed it within an hour. And all the little bulbs work too. The brown wire was completely severed and near the very bottom where the harness connects into the trunk lid hinge assembly. If it goes again, he'll need to get it replaced. The other wire that runs parallel to the one that was severed had a few cracks in the insulation. After repairing the severed wire, I wrapped each wire individually with a special electrical tape that you stretch wrap around wires. What this stuff does is fuses itself to itself so after a little time, the tape turns into more like a one piece insulation. I then put the wiring back into the outter insulation and then put that inside the rubber boot. I then used four plastic zip ties to close up the rubber boot. I had to cut open the entire length of that plastic boot to locate where the wire was broken. I didn't know where it was broken exactly until cutting through the rubber boot and inner insulation.

Very happy to work out this little bug. I think it's good now and will do the transaction with the guy this week. I may even go to the MB dealership once more and look into maybe getting that plastic box and brown lid for the center console for him, as right now those are missing, but the guy I bought it from put in a matching colored wooden lid.

Thanks again for the help and I will definitely pass on to him this forum as well, so maybe he'll end up joining which would be in his best interest since this site has helped me work out the little bugs even though I've only been on here for roughly a month now.

Thanks again, greatly appreciated all the help! My intentions was to keep it but reality set in and it's not practical for me to have three cars, two of which I treat and care for as collector cars.
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#8 (permalink) Old 08-04-2013, 07:41 PM
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Good job! that's exactly what did! best part ,your hands aren't greasy! having so many cars can be a hassle,I have 4,and they all need gas and some driving,but what the hell they are paid off and a hobby for me!

John
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#9 (permalink) Old 08-05-2013, 10:21 AM
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The hassle for me is how I am so detailed about how clean I keep them and how I maintain them. Two of my cars I can't hardly take out unless I'm not planning to park it anywhere and walk away from it. This Mercedes I recently bought doesn't even have a single door ding so I'm super worried about someone opening a door on it if it's parked out somewhere while I'm shopping or eating out. To me that's not so fun having to worry about it. One car to worry about is enough. This SL500 is one hell of a nice car but I can't help but think practical though.
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#10 (permalink) Old 08-05-2013, 11:51 AM
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Just sell it and let go,one less thing,my cars are all old but clean,my neighbors must think I'm crazy! I have a car cover on all of them! even the recently added SL in the garage,it has 2 covers!haha, my old Chevy truck is super clean for 78,but hardly ever drive it due to the MPG! would like to sell it and get a newer Dodge caravan for hauling stuff. found an 07 for under 5k,new ones? forget about it! 40k!!!!!!
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